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We smoked Lil’ Kim’s new Hardcore strain to see if it’s really an Aphrodisiak

If you like smoking before sexy time, the debut drop from Kim’s new Aphrodisiak brand lives up to its name–here’s where to grab it.

On Valentine’s Day, Lil’ Kim teased her new cannabis brand: Aphrodisiak for the world. Kim promised strains and products that live up to her arousing lyrics like:

“Roll some weed… and close your eyes, then imagine your tongue in between my thighs.”

Lil’ Kim, “How Many Licks” (2000)

Those and other raw rhymes about Mary Jane helped Kim open 1990s minds to the plant, back when pop culture was still sending mixed messages about women who love cannabis. Her brave example broke clueless stereotypes that said pretty girls don’t smoke pot.

And now she’s adding a new dimension to the weed game: Cultivars aimed at couples who want to boost their libidos.

Starting Saturday (June 4), Pineapple Express’ Hollywood dispensary is the first and only place to get your hands on Kim’s bodacious new buds. The brand new dispensary is owned by Kim’s fellow music-slash-marijuana vet 2 Chainz, and dispensaries in Michigan, New Jersey, and Kim’s native New York are expecting to stock shelves soon.

Getting my hands on Kim’s ‘Hardcore’ buds

I secured two early eighth bags of the new strain, called “Hardcore,” from Kim’s partner Carlos Dew, who helps market Aphrodisiak through his company superbad inc. He told me that eighths (3.5 grams) of Hardcore will sell for $65 at retailers.

Carlos said I was the first person outside of their camp to touch, smell, and smoke their product. Kim said quality control is the company’s top priority, as she spent over two years overseeing product development personally, before handpicking Hardcore as Aphrodisiak’s debut cultivar.

Even before I opened up the first pack of Hardcore, the chic matte-black packaging suggested an upper-echelon product that makes you want to save it as a keepsake. The Aphrodisiak logo is reminiscent of NYC legend Branson’s triangle-shaped weed baggies, but made modern by a QR code. Shoutout to Kim’s team for attention to legacy detail.

I got my hands on Kim's Hardcore buds before it debuts on Saturday. (Dan Reagans / Leafly)
I got my hands on Kim’s Hardcore strain before it debuts on Saturday at Pineapple Express dispensary in Hollywood, CA. (Dan Reagans for Leafly)

The packaging said buds tested at 30% THC, .07% CBD, and 35% total cannabinoids and as soon as I cracked the bag, I was blown away by the thick white trichome crystals coating every bud. It looked like the weed was dipped in sugar. But the dark purple hue in the buds still fought through to the surface.

The leaves were soft to the touch, but sturdy enough to break down by hand without making a mess. I thought to myself, ‘This is too pretty to put in a grinder, you need to get your hands dirty to fully appreciate these crystals.’ And that’s exactly what I did.

From first look, smell, and touch, you don’t have to smoke Hardcore to know it’s the good stuff. This is the stash you pull out when you’re trying to impress somebody.

But what about intimate sessions with that special somebody? Does it deliver the same side effects that looking at Kim’s album poster did back when I was a youngin’?

Lil’ Kim sparked the libido of an entire generation with the 1996 promo poster for her debut album Hardcore. Now, she’s releasing a line of legal cannabis products that are intended to have the same arousing effects on adults in legal states. (via Grailed / original album photography by Michael Lavine)
Lil’ Kim sparked the libido of an entire generation, and now, her line of legal cannabis products are intended to have the same arousing effects on adults in legal states. (via Grailed / original album photography by Michael Lavine)

Did I feel aroused after smoking Aphrodisiak’s debut strain?

At first, I thought Kim was gassing us up. But it turns out she’s not selling snake oil. There’s no guarantee that this gas will go straight to you or your partner’s snake, but much like Sweeties and Cake Crasher, it definitely had me feeling friskier than the average late-night blunt.

The rest of my evening rode out like the quiet storm hour on your local jazz station. The smooth citrus and berry notes lingered on my nose and tastebuds for the rest of the night. Sadly, my partner was knocked out for the night (we have kids). But Hardcore also comes with an uplifting mental rush that will easily distract you from unsatisfied desires.

I kicked back for the rest of my time with Kim’s Hardcore, enjoying the NBA finals and some late night snacks before calling it a night. The arousing effects are best compared to a glass of wine. Hardcore won’t have you out in the streets in search of anything with a heartbeat. But it does set a perfectly relaxing mood for you and a lover to intensify your connection.

The final verdict: Kim and the Aphrodisiak team delivered a super-soft flower for hardcore connoisseurs. Fuzzy and plump to the touch, this beauty breaks down easy and neat, so you and your partner can focus on making a different kind of mess.

Salute to an early pioneer of designer dank

Lil Kim’s new ‘Hardcore’ strain is the first offering from her new brand Aphrodisiak. (Courtesy of Aphrodisiak)

As a New Yorker, Hip Hop head, and pothead, it was an honor to be the first to taste the Queen Bee’s highly anticipated new product.

Kim once bragged, “my girls rock Chanel and smoke mad marijuana,” along with many other raw rhymes that opened audiences up to the finer side of the plant.

Her debut album, also titled Hardcore, is certified double platinum (over 2 million units sold) and she has moved over 6 million albums total worldwide. And her Hardcore cannabis could be primed to move similar units someday.

Trees I like ’em fine, straight up marijuan’,” rapped Kim from the backseat of a luxury car, wrapped in designer fur and leather in the 1996 music video for “Time To Shine,” combining cannabis, lust, and luxury appeal in ways few other brands or influencers ever could.

“She’s going raw,” her partner Carlos told me in February as they began building the buzz for tomorrow’s big debut. “She’s gonna make it nasty!”

Four months later, I have to give Carlos his credit for being right. Kim’s debut strain Hardcore is the real deal; A show-stopping, one-breast-hanging-out-of-your-VMA-dress kind of flower worthy of Kim’s rich legacy.

If you’re near Hollywood’s Pineapple Express dispensary this weekend, make sure to grab some and share your thoughts with Leafly.

Dan Reagans's Bio Image
Dan Reagans

Dan Reagans is a veteran journalist now living in Los Angeles. The Harlem native has covered culture and media for over a decade.

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